tv PBS News Hour PBS September 1, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> o'brien: good evening. i'm miles o'brien. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: dangerous conditions continue. port arthur and beaumont remain under siege, as houston struggles to salvage what's left behind, a week after harvey first hit. then, the storm did not discriminate, shattering lives of rich and poor alike, but one community faces added uncertainty. >> there's a real sense of anxiety about immigration raids and deportations in houston's undocumented community. hurricane harvey has turned that anxiety into a visceral fear. >> o'brien: and, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks talk the political challenges stirred up by harvey and what to expect from congress as it confronts a long to-do list. all that and more, on tonight's
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> o'brien: what's left of hurricane harvey is now hundreds of miles away, but the damage in texas is still piling up. officials say more than 150,000 homes around houston were flooded, and some 20,000 could stay that way for days to come. still, the beginnings of recovery are under way.
in parts of southeast texas, clean-up is now in high gear. people are dumping everything from furniture to carpeting to clothes, and garbage bags line the streets. search teams have been going block-by-block, checking thousands of homes, and they hope to be finished by tomorrow. but even as the flooding recedes in parts of the city, mayor sylvester turner says it's not over for others-- especially in the western districts. that's where reservoirs are still releasing water. >> if you have water in your home today, the odds are you're going to continue to have water in your home over the next 10-15 days. and with that being the case, and the stress and the strain that's been posed on first responders, as well as your own public safety, i am asking you, i am asking you to leave your homes. >> o'brien: out on the texas coast, the city of port arthur also faces more days under
water. some say it's still hard to believe. >> we underestimated it. we didn't think it would be this devastating. i mean, i never thought my area would actually be really flooded, like flooded to the point where you actually had to swim out. >> o'brien: the u.s. coast guard reports it rescued another 3,000 people across southeast texas in the last 48 hours. in the city of beaumont, with 120,000 people, officials managed today to set up a distribution point for bottled water. that's after its water-pumping station was drowned by a swollen river. >> we have things that have been neglected, like our flood wall, our pumps. we have no spirit of proactivity. >> o'brien: there were also more reports of gasoline shortages. in galena park, texas, east of
houston, tankers lined up at a fueling depot, hoping to get supplies to gas stations around the state. texas governor greg abbott spoke in austin this afternoon: >> there is plenty of gasoline in the state of texas. so don't worry, we will not run out, and we will back in to our normal pattern before you know it. >> o'brien: on top of all that, health experts warn that sewage in floodwaters could make people sick, and that mosquito populations will spike in coming weeks. in washington, president trump received an update on harvey recovery efforts from disaster relief organizations. >> the federal government is on the ground, bringing in significant resources to bear. and i want to assure these organizations, and the others involved, that we will continue to coordinate with them and bring all of the relief and the comfort and everything else that we absolutely can, to the gulf
coast. >> o'brien: and, the president is set to visit texas again tomorrow. he'll also go to louisiana, to survey storm damage. meanwhile, what's left of harvey continues to wreak havoc in other states. flooded water-ways have driven people from their homes in tennessee and kentucky, and tornadoes have spun through mississippi and alabama. the storm-- now a post-tropical cyclone-- is bringing rain bands toward the ohio valley. earlier this week, haley morrow of the beaumont police told us a harrowing story of what her community was facing, including how a mother gave her life to save her toddler daughter. it's hard to imagine, but since we spoke, the situation in beaumont has only gotten worse. our william brangham was out with the national guard and tells us about what he saw. thank you for being with us, behind you i see some of the national guard troops that you were with earlier. tell always about the mission, what you saw?
>> we came out today with a group who are principally doing water rescue. they brought in these boats that are meant to normally build floating bridges but they have been deploying them trying to rescue people out of their homes. we wept out on the boat what they ever trying to do rescue one of their colleagues who had been on a prior rescue mission, that boat then got pushed by the current, i don't know if you can see in the background here, but there is a torrent of flood water receding south trying to get back out to the gulf. one of those boats got trapped in a forest. so we wept out to try to get them out. we went through and basically, we are riding one of these boats where boats are not meant to be. it's a forest, we're just on the side of the highway. just to the left of us you can see all the time highway signs, you can even make out the highway markings. but the current of this is so strong that we eventually were able to debt this boat out by just ramming it. it was almost like bumper cars these are very sturdy boats.
they bumped this other vehicle out. it got freed, then as we tried to get out we ourselves got trapped. and another vac had to try to get us out it was a bit of a chaotic scene. >> o'brien: it gives you a sense of how chaotic and unpredictable and difficult rescue recovery can be. >> ultimately, how did your boat get free? >> we're stick in the forest another boat comes up alongside us and after banging basically back and forth against trees and branches, we were able, took about 20-25 minutes to get ourselves slowly extricated out. you have to imagine putting a boat in the middle of a forest with thousands of gallons of fast rushing flood water pressing you against the trees, you're trying to navigate in a place that is not a navigable waterway. just very difficult. every time we would bang into r into a tree, sort of rain of ants would fall down, people are getting bitten, a fairly harry scene.
another boat was able to tie on to us slowly bang and drag us out and we got out. >> o'brien: multiply that over many hundreds of square miles covered by water you get an idea of the challenge that is faced by all these first responders, in this case, national guard troops. who were you with? tell us about the crew? >> the national guard are what we know colloquially as weekend warriors, a kid in collegea guy who manages a restaurant, guy who works in oil rig, a journalist at a lowell news station was one of the guardsmen, when they get the order they just drop everything that they're doing, give up their lives and come out to serve and try to help their fellow texans as one said, this is texans helping texans. i said, is it difficult just letting go of your lives? some of these guys had damage to their own homes yet they are here miles 'weigh way trying to help other people. do you wish you were back home? he said, no, my wife knows that if i were back home i mentally would be out on the also could you mission. it's better i'm trying to help.
>> o'brien: that altitude impress me so much. do you get the sense that they're getting weary as time goes on here? >> not yet. i think the rescue effort is still in its early days. they have not been getting out into these areas for really about a day, day and a half. i think until they feel that they have exhausted all the things that they do, because in the end what they're really trying to do get to people that might still be trapped. people who have lost power, no phones. that is what really driving this whole sense of mission out here. >> o'brien: as you stand there on interstate 150, i'm reminded of the challenges of just getting around an area that is affected by the flooding after a hurricane. give you a sense of what you experienced just today doing what you needed to do to get to this particular assign. [. >> well, we left houston this morning, houston is largely drained. there are still spots that are wet but the bulk of downtown houston is dry. city is starting to come back. as you come further east here
towards the border of louisiana, you really start to see where the flood has not receded yet. we drove through water constantly. there were roads, rewere rerouted three or four times. you'd see house out in the middle of a field completely surrounded by water like a small island. long horn steer drowned on the side of the road. just a very surreal experience. we saw an armadillo racing away from flood waters, stray dogs walking around. just a very eerie seen as this area being a day or two from what houston is a few days ago. >> o'brien: william brangham in beaumont, texas. >> o'brien: we move now from beaumont to the neighboring city of port arthur, where the conditions remain dire and dangerous. i spoke by phone with the city's police chief, patrick melvin, a short time ago. i know you're extremely busy, first of all, just paint the picture of where you are and what you're doing right now?
>> actually right now, mr. 'brian i'm in one of the neighborhoods that is still immersed in water. i am about 3-5 feet of water. still recovery operations, rescue operations going on this particular neighborhood. i'm going around through the different command centers that we have within the city of port arthur and checking welfare on all the command post. >> o'brien: give is the big picture, how many rescues so far and due have any idea who else is potentially in need of help right now? >> we've had several hundred rescues, we've had a lot of volunteers, we've had the military, the national guard and different volunteer organizations are helping with the boat rescues, water rescues. we've also had the coast guard and the national guard specifically coast guard helping with house-type rescues in totally immersed neighborhoods. most of those are pretty much complete right now. we're going back now just to second -- to make sure that we
have nod missed anyone. some of our committee members are hunkering down, don't feel they need to leave at the time from the different neighborhoods. this particular neighborhood is totally immersed in water and just want to make sure that we're leaving no one find at this time. >> o'brien: chief, i imagine that is a particular challenge when you run into somebody who just wants to hunker down and stay put. what do you tell them? >> we express the danger, possible danger and we make sure they have telephone in case something does change they can give us a call. this is not the first time they have been involved in some kind of catastrophe, but never have we been involved in what i understand in this kind of flooding here in southeast techs text. >> o'brien: what can you tell us about casualties? >> we've had some air evacuations to different medical facilities due to the extent of some of the medical challenges that we've had. as far as fatalities, the number is relatively low at this time from what i've been briefed. i know one particular bee had gentleman actually had heart
attack, however this situation is no where close to being over. >> o'brien: tell us about shelters, how many people are in shelters there? >> we have evacuated most of the shelters, we have one shelter that is going on right now. most people have been evacuated out of the area and we're still about 500-800 people in the shelters. i will let you know also there was a lots of social media news about a levee being broken that is not true. the leves, in great condition. our community is not really -- i'm told that other communities around us, however we will not be affected by those releases. >> o'brien: final point, as i understand it you are probably the only place in the region that had a bowling alley as a shelter. tell us about that. >> actually took emergency actions, we made entry into this building and took it over so that we could provide shelter for our residents. >> o'brien: commandeered a
bowling alley all for a good cause. >> we're appreciative of the owners and management because it if it weren't for them we would have had a lot of displaced residents out there. >> o'brien: patrick melvin the chief of police in port arthur, texas, we wish you will. i know you're still in the middle. >> we appreciate it. keep us in your prayers. >> o'brien: we've spent a lot of time covering people who have gone to shelters for aid and relief, but there are a number of immigrants in the houston community who are nervous about getting that help. today, a controversial law in texas was set to take effect. it would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities like houston that don't always cooperate with federal authorities. a federal judge blocked the law, but governor greg abbott and the state's attorney general have vowed to appeal. some immigrants feel targeted. the newshour's p.j. tobia has our report. >> reporter: holy ghost parish, southwest houston. six days since harvey's
landfall, donations are pouring in. damaris figueroa and a small army of volunteers work round the clock to get the generous bounty of food, clothes and other necessities to a water- logged and desperate community. >> we've been delivering every few hours. like, 150 meals. >> reporter: a big part of her efforts are directed at a group of houstonians who remain in the shadows, even in this time of great need. >> they be sending messages, please, we're in this and this place, we're under this freeway. we under this place. please, can you come help us? >> reporter: they'd rather live under a freeway overpass than go to a shelter run by the city, because they're so scared? >> reporter: texas has 1.5 million undocumented immigrants. nearly 600,000 of them call the houston area their home. but there's a real sense of anxiety in houston's undocumented community about immigration raids and deportations. hurricane harvey has turned that anxiety into a visceral fear. marta-- we agreed not to use her
full name or reveal her identity-- is also an undocumented immigrant. when her neighborhood flooded, she refused to take her three children to a shelter, for fear she'd be deported. >> ( translated ): i hear in the news that in some shelters, people and the police are asking for some fingerprints. so this is why i have a lot of fear to go, and this is why i decided we don't need to go. >> reporter: she'd also heard that border patrol boats were cruising houston's flooded streets, looking for the undocumented. >> ( translated ): my biggest fear is being separated from my family. >> number one is the fear factor. >> reporter: cesar espinosa runs iel, an organization which supports undocumented immigrant families. he said neither of the rumors were true, and he spent the past week trying to convince those at risk from the high water to seek shelter. >> during the storm, we were running out of a mobile office, out of my mom's house, through cell phones. and half of the calls we were getting were people saying, you know, i might need a shelter. is it going to be safe for me and my family to go?
>> reporter: houston mayor sylvester turner has been unequivocal that shelters are safe for the undocumented. >> there is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call for help. and i and others will be the first ones to stand up with you. if someone comes and they require help and then for some reason tries to deport them, i will represent them myself. >> reporter: but even as the flood waters recede, governor greg abbott said the judge's ruling on the sanctuary cities law makes texas less safe. ma krikorian, who heads the center for immigration studies in washington, agrees. is important stool for public safety. in a place like texas right next to mexico. you know, most illegal aillyians are just ordinary people but there's a significant cartel presence there, cartels use immigrant communities as cover to operate in. so immigration law is not just an important tool, it is an
essential tool to promote public safety, especially in a place like texas. >> reporter: like >> reporter: undocumented immigrants like manuel rosario, who have long lived in houston, now have another worry: how to pay for the long process of recovery. rosario returned to his house in northeast houston for the first time, to survey the damage. >> oh my god, it smells so bad. >> reporter: rosario, along with his son darrel, wife and five daughters, barely escaped the storm with their lives. >> so he had to put on a rope, a yellow rope. the other end, he tied it to a small pool, a purple pool. >> reporter: like a plastic baby pool? >> yeah, and then he put some blankets on the bottom and then the babies on the top and then the rest were behind and we got out. >> reporter: he and his family are now staying in a shelter at the massive toyota center downtown. he hasn't been able to sleep, thinking about all that he's lost and how he'll rebuild.
>> last night, i feeling bad, i think, and me and my son and my daughter. i think, how we can come back to living in this house? >> reporter: because his son is a u.s. citizen, he will likely qualify for fema rebuilding assistance. many are not so lucky. >> the sad reality though is that some of these families are not mixed. that is, family, meaning that they may all be undocumented. so in that sense unfortunately, through the federal funds, there's not much that can be done. >> reporter: mark krikorian thinks that people in the country illegally shouldn't get recovery money. >> basic difference between immediate emergency assistance, in other words, pulling people off the roof of a house, giving them water in an emergency, shelter, that kind of thing. that's appropriate for everybody. i mean, i would say imperative to apply that to anybody regardless of who they are or anything else. it's the next stage, the
post-emergency assistance that's funded by my tax money and yours which should not be going to people who have broken our laws, who shouldn't even be in the united states. >> reporter: in a statement to newshour, fema confirmed that undocumented families "need one family member who is a citizen and has a social security number to apply for disaster assistance." no matter who qualifies for government aid, immigrant activists say most flood victims will have to continue to rely on the outpouring of charity from private sources for months to come. for the pbs newshour, i'm p.j. tobia in houston. >> o'brien: in the day's other news, tropical storm lidia in the pacific battered mexico's baja california peninsula with heavy wind and rain.
officials reported four deaths. the storm caused flooding as far away as mexico city, and it could bring rain to the american southwest. meanwhile, hurricane irma is still far out in the atlantic, with sustained winds of 110 miles an hour. more than 50 wildfires are burning across the western u.s. in one of the worst fire seasons in recent years. one blaze near oroville, in northern california, has destroyed 20 homes and threatens 500 more. crews have contained about 30% of the fire, but they face triple-digit heat. forecasters warned today that september will remain hot and dry there. in kenya, the supreme court today nullified the re-election of president uhuru kenyatta. the justices ruled the process was rife with illegal activity, and they ordered a new election within 60 days. supporters of challenger raila odinga celebrated in the streets, and he hailed the decision, while kenyatta deplored it.
>> this indeed is a very historic day for the people of kenya, and by extension, for the people of the continent of africa. >> i personally disagree with the ruling that has been made today, but i respect it as much as i disagree with it. >> o'brien: later, kenyatta charged that crooks on the high court had stolen his victory. new evidence tonight that rohingya muslims are under assault in mostly buddhist myanmar, the former burma. thousands have taken refuge in bangladesh, fleeing new attacks by government troops. myanmar's army claims it's responding to violence by muslim insurgents. jonathan miller, of independent television news, reports from the scene. >> reporter: the myanmar military calls these clearance operations, in their hunt for what they say are extremist muslim terrorists.
in reality, it's a scorched earth policy that's driving tens of thousands of rohingya from their homes. they've lived separated for decades and been denied basic rights, apartheid in all but name. now, they're on the run. as the muslim world celebrates eid, the rohinya are celebrating their sons, their daughters, their mothers and their fathers. >> ( translated ): vigilantes, soldiers and police surrounded our village. they started shooting at the vlllagers. they didn't spare anyone. >> reporter: these are the survivors. we have to protect their identities. sittwe is the rahikme state capital, the burmese buddhists' front line.
here, mosques lie in ruin, boarded up, no friday prayers. eventually, we got in to see a top state officials. muslims terrorists were trying to set up a islamic state in his country, he said. >> there's no rohingya in our country. in our history. there's no rohingya. no rohingya. no rohingya. >> reporter: who are they, then? >> maybe they're the people who come in from the foreign country. foreigners. they haven't any identity. >> reporter: 1.1 million rohingya don't have identity because the government of aun sun chi denies them all citizenship. under armed guard, some journalists were allowed into the conflict area on a government tour. they witnessed burned villages and some of the 12,000 myanmar "citizens" evacuated by the military to protect them from rohingya insurgents.
but this new conflict is a very lop-sided war and, as ever, the victims are mostly civilians. >> o'brien: that report from jonathan miller, of independent television news. the president of turkey, recep tayyip erdogan, today condemned u.s. indictments of his security guards. the charges stem from erdogan's visit to washington last may. cell phone video showed guards and supporters of the turkish leader attacking demonstrators. today, in istanbul, erdogan said they were just protecting him. >> ( translated ): this, in and of itself, is a scandal. it's a clear and scandalous expression of how justice works in america. if the security units of the united states of america are not able to fulfill their duties to protect, are my security officials not supposed to fulfill theirs? >> o'brien: there's no indication that erdogan's government will send the suspects back to the u.s. to stand trial. president trump today praised his new chief of staff, john kelly, despite reports of rising
tensions. a "washington post" account said mr. trump chafes at kelly's efforts to control the flow of information and visitors to the oval office. but the president tweeted, "kelly is doing a great job as chief of staff. i could not be happier or more impressed." the retired marine general became chief of staff just over a month ago. job growth slowed last month. the labor department reports employers added a net of 156,000 jobs for august. the unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 4.4%. job growth for june and july was revised down by a combined 41,000. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained 39 points to close at 21,987. the nasdaq rose six points, and the s&p 500 added nearly five. still to come on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks weigh in on harvey's devastation and the rest of the week's news. a new music collaboration puts a
modern twist on folk music. and, the tricky balance of helping with a loved one's medical care. >> o'brien: in addition to the grueling work of rescue and recovery on the ground, hurricane harvey has stirred up political challenges and marked the first natural disaster on president trump's watch. for what's at stake, we get the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york times" columnist david brooks. gentlemen, good to have you with us. to what extent has the storm on friday and what has ensued changed what's going to happen in washington in september? do you think this is a redebt in a sense, david? >> i've decided to take the most willfully confident or least optimistic point of view, post-flood that the dove comes bearing the olive branch. i do think there's potential to
get better. the republicans were headed toward dysfunction with the budget show downs, fight over the wall, possible government shut down now they have pretext all the while knowing they look dysfunctional and have to get something done. now they have a pretext to change the subject to, put some budget relief in there for the flood, without doing offsets without trying to rip the money out from other programs. and they can say, we can't do the wall we got to rebuild texas. by the way on the background lot of people are going to need construction workers intent techs. this is a construction where w a construction worker flourish. so, i think there's a possibility if they want to look functional to seize this moment, whether they will or not but i'm going for maximal optimistic unrealism. >> o'brien: would you agree that the storm has given republicans some cover for a kumbaya moment? >> not necessarily kumbaya moment, that's impossible with donald trump because he's so volatile and so self obsessed.
but it's great political opportunity for republicans, partly for the reasons that david said. the maximum in come bass in world war ii there are no eightiess in a fox hole. no small government people at a time when they're in the wake of a hurricane. people turn -- what's the government going to do? i want it done. even the much ridiculed and legitimately so ted cruz who ran for president proclaiming most unpopular man in the senate ea earned that epithet. by opposing any hurricane aid to the citizens of new york and new jersey after hurricane sandy. and 22 of the 23 republican members of congress from texas including john cornyn the senator and cruz owe potioned it. now, of course they are the
biggest extorters for federal aid, federal involvement rushing in. but i do think it's an opportunity for republicans to unite to get away from the wall and president's empty threat to close the government if it weren't funded. >> o'brien: i want to talk a little bit about what is going on in washington. let's a couple of things about the actual, the response on the ground. we didn't have a brownie moment this go around as we did in katrina. is your sings that politically the trump administration did well in the way things happen on the ground as far as the immediate response in texas and louisiana, david? >> i would say the range of government programs seemed to go well. the people in this program all the ones we've seen, i think generally been impressive, they had tough calls to make, the mayor of houston whether to evacuate. that was a tough call. you could argue either way. the people responding, the two biggest things that happened was first, houston came together. and that is significant because houston is the most ethnically diverse city in this country.
there's an argument that is made, we'll never have solidarity as a nation if you're so ethnically diverse. houston does it. and so if they can do it i think that argument against making our country diverse or opening up more immigration falls down. the second thing is that i think as washington becomes more dysfunctional, power is going to the cities and states. and i thought the basic efficacy. houston government this week is further sign that that may have to happen even more. >> o'brien: mark, would you agree that maybe the lessons of katrina, for example, bore out and perhaps not only were the localities better equipped but people themselves were better prepared, is that possible? or something that the trump administration can take credit for? >> i don't think there's credit. i think certainly, early returns are encouraging, i think the public sector, i think the private sector, i think voluntary sector, i think citizens whether it's the cajun navy, whether it's corporate involvement. citizens helping citizens, i
think has been impressive. it's been encouraging at a time of dysfunction of almost malaise in the country, in the midst of this national tragedy and personal tragedy it's been a source of some inspiration, some elevation. at least. so i think in that sense it's good. i think the president, not to belabor it i think he made a mistake by trying to lift of the morale of folks saying it's going to be quick. it's not going to be quick. it's going to be long and arduous and difficult and painful and dislocating. but i think we got a good start. >> it's a much longer road than i think people fully appreciate, once we in the media and nation moves on to the next thing it gets very difficult for these people on the ground they still have a huge problem, quick. administration wants to move as quickly as possible it says to get a relief package underway. how realistic is that, david, do you think that -- given all that happened post-hurricane sandy and efforts that you mentioned of sec senator cruz and others trying to block that aid
package, will there be obstacles? >> i any the first raunch of this package, the second issue is whether i talked about the before the offsets, this is what republicans have traditionally demanded. if we're going to pay for relief, we got to rip the money from some other program. that seems to me an insane way to do government. we have permanent domestic policy programs and we have a pretty steady disaster that we have to pay for. to rip money from the permanent programs seems crazy. will they insist on the offsets this time? i think in the first round probably no, but the second, 15 billion maybe in the first but they're talking about 150 billion need. so that's just a gigantic budget lift. >> o'brien: the proposal was to take money away from fema to help fund the border wall, that's probably a dead issue at the moment. >> i don't think that's going to be revitalized, back up the flag pole. i do think that republicans are flirting of course with their
tax cut which s always been the narcotic of republicans. that they in fact have to at some point with any remote pretense of candor abandoned any pretense of a balanced budget. they talk about -- they are going to finance the tax cut by tax cuts. that's how they're going to do it. and i do think -- i do think that the will is there right now in the congress to act, that will not be a ted cruz from the northeast opposing aid to help people in texas and louisiana. i think they will be as close to unity on capitol hill. >> o'brien: what about the talk of government shut down which was in place before the storm. is that gone now, you think? >> if this were a normal country with a normal government would you think there's no way. i think -- >> o'brien: that is not the case. >> that is not the case. there is still somechance, i
have trouble, i do think this was a moment where they were some union if i occasion, republicans know they can't be total disasters as the governing party. i just wish there was some more forward-looking enthusiasm. the chicago fire, the san francisco earthquake, these are moments of revitalization for those cities, chance to take the disaster and build something. so far i haven't seen much of a chance. what are we going to do with this and how are we going to make houston a different city, better city than even it was. >> o'brien: i suppose you can make an argument instead of talking about border walls built sea walls, why not? >> the problem is that every study i'm aware of, which is probably not that many is indicated that a dollar spent in preparation and avoidance of national disasters is worth $15 spent in relief. but there's no political payoff. for preparation. so, who benefits? the governor or senator or
president, bill clinton had oklahoma city. his performance there helped them enormously. john lindsey almost ended his career on a snowstorm in new york city. and certainly george bush and katrina. so, there doesn't seem to be any political reward for making the preparation, doing the hard work, of building sea walls and part of houston's charm has been that there is no zoning. so, there really hasn't been any regulation that in fact interfere with environmental disaster. it's a trade off that they made in houston that has led to the fact that there is affordable housing even though might be next to a machine shop and a junk yard. >> o'brien: seems prefer to fund the fire department instead of the fire insurance. all right. i got to ask this because it has come into play a lot.
is there any chance that there will be some sort of sea change, if you will, in political discussions about climate change, in the wake of this? how many of these storms do we have to go through before politicians come around on this one, david? >> i would be stunned. 8:00 climate change the way it was 0 years ago is total partisan issue now. >> o'brien: is that because al gore ran -- >> i happen to think he had some positive effects with the movement. i think he had a very negative effect, used have john mccain with climate change legislation, once it became democratic issue they had to go on the other side. there was perverse affect of what al gore did. >> o'brien: any chance? >> denial did more than a river in egypt. any democratic congresswoman from texas pointed out her republican colleagues she said, this is the third once in 500 storm that we've had in the past three years. at some point you have to say, what's going on here.
is there something that i'm not considering. but i agree with david that there will not -- they're not going to move on it. there's certainly -- i don't see the pleader ship anywhere. >> o'brien: u don't have to be a math guy to realize that's not working out very well. as far as funding issues, fund the government, take care of the debt ceiling, all that is going to happen do you think now? what are your knots on that? that's a lot of work. >> glor russ to trudge through. what happened on capitol hill is they divorced the trump administration. this guy is an independent. we're going to have 20 do this thing ourselves and if they can't do this then the whole republican party is in big trouble. >> o'brien: what about tax reform. that was something that in the midst of this storm, president trump was talking about, any chance -- >> there is no tax reform. what it is is a tax cut. and they have concluded that there's a real problem in this country when it comes to money distribution, that poor have too much and the rich don't have
enough. this is the -- miles just to make -- i don't think anything going to pass. >> o'brien: who was in office in power in 1986 bob packwood in the senate, pat moynihan, bill bradley. the dream team of legislative skill. there's just nobody like that because people do not have the experience to pass complicated legislation, let alone a white house tax reform is incredibly hard because every time you cult a loop home there's an army that wants to preserve it. >> dick durbin. >> we've lost human capital in washington of people who know how to do complicated. >> o'brien: good point. devalued it. when you run against washington long enough, and deprecate public service, i mean, after awhile you stop attracting -- making it appealing for talented people to come and to stay. then public service was an honorable and important. >> the talent is there. experience is low. those people put through over
previous 20 or 30 years lots of complicated legislation, especially under johnson. even under nixon and the people nowadays, just want top the experience of doing it. >> o'brien: experience counts said the grey haired guy sitting at the table. >> always been a big fan of term limits. >> o'brien: absolutely. quickly, as the white house staff turns, the piece that came out today indicating that the president has become disenchanted with his new chief of staff, john kelly. basically the 15 people anonymously sourced in this story said, donald trump doesn't like to be handled, any news here? any surprise to eat of of you is john kelly on his way out. >> an old adage, someone who is always finding everyone else to be a horse's ass. when you meet three, the problem is the guy who is still there. he was going to get the best people, because he knew, he was going to bring them to
washington get everything done, get everything passed. he brought the best people to washington, they have all left. now we're working on what the second, third round? at some point you got to conclude, it is the problem is the person who is there. >> o'brien: button it up quick quickly. >> the b team that went out first. now starts firing people he's really firing what to him is the a team. i don't think he's going to end up doing it. the guy is always fuming about something. it doesn't often lead to anything. i suspect that's the case here. >> o'brien: david brooks, mark shields, have a great holiday weekend. >> thanks, miles. >> o'brien: and now, new music created from old sounds. a group of british and american musicians named "offa rex" have put a modern twist on traditional folk songs dating back centuries. their first album is out now,
and as jeffrey brown discovered, it isn't the first revival of this musical tradition. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: at this summer's newport folk festival: an early english ballad called "the queen of hearts." ♪ ♪ it dates back in various forms to at least the 1700s. ♪ ♪ but it was taken on in the 1960s by the likes of joan baez-- ♪ ♪ and the influential english folksinger, martin carthy. ♪ ♪ now, looking back once again, comes a group called offa rex, a transatlantic collaboration of the english singer olivia chaney and the american indie rock band, the decemberists, led by colin meloy.
>> the first thing is my love of old folk songs, and in particular, narrative songs. the melodies and the focus on the voice and the story, are things that i think kind of found their way into my own music and my own writing. >> reporter: the decemberists formed in portland, oregon in 2000, and have put out seven albums to date. ♪ ♪ olivia chaney is a classically trained singer who plays several instruments. she first received wide notice on this side of the atlantic with her 2015 debut album, "the longest river." >> we kind of figured it out as we went along, and sometimes we didn't agree on things and we would say, well, "i want to do this song" or "i want to do it this way." and i think that was the beauty of the project, and we came from different cultures and different
relationships to the history of the music. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: on this project, the two are consciously picking up on the 1970s "electric folk" revival of traditional music by bands like fairport convention and steeleye span, from whom meloy says he learned "the blackleg miner." ♪ ♪ >> i selfishly wanted, if only i could have a time machine, to play in a band like that. >> reporter: it is nostalgia for the revival of a revival of a revival. the music goes back centuries. but you're talking about something that goes back 50 years. >> the nostalgia for a time, you know, mostly i wasn't even born or alive during, but in itself it was recreating or reviving old music by injecting something new. it is a sort of love letter to that era. ♪ ♪
>> reporter: chaney says she first listened to '60s and '70s folk revival music as a young girl with her dad. she never saw herself as part of a pure folk scene, but was eager to arrange anew several of these traditional songs, including "willie o'winsbury." ♪ ♪ >> when i sit down and try to arrange a song as i did for this project, i'm never trying to sound like any of those singers. i have learned from them, absolutely, but when i arrange something, i am really trying to get the essence of that song. but also, i think i am trying to make them a bit more contemporary. you know, the paradox of you tying to protect something or preserve it and then it dies, because you try to protect it. i wouldn't want to be guilty of that. i hope not. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: there was one
lovely surprise on the album, to this listener at least. "the first time ever i saw your face." best known in the famous roberta flack version. it was actually written by british folksinger ewan mccoll, looking back to ballads of old. at newport, olivia chaney performed it solo, playing an indian harmonium. ♪ ♪ old... ...and even older songs, given new life. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown at the newport folk festival. >> o'brien: a diagnosis of a mental illness can be just as hard on family members as it is on a patient. tonight, mark lukach offers his humble opinion on the importance of allowing care-takers a voice in someone else's care.
>> at age 27, my wife giulia suffered an unexpected psychotic break. it upended everything we thought we knew. over the following five years, she had two more breaks, all of which meant lengthy hospitalizations and even lengthier battles with depression. my lovely wife giulia has bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that has radically transformed her life. wait, let me rephrase that. it's a diagnosis that has radically transformed our lives, an obvious but important clarifier. the caregiving experience of mental illness is an unsung narrative, and it's too often that family members are left in the dark around treatment and recovery, either by doctors or by the patients themselves. the result can be an ugly game of tug-of-war over who gets to call the shots. it certainly was that way for us. giulia wanted to have her say, and i wanted to have mine. she didn't like the side
effects of her medication; i rationalized that the side effects were better than the psychosis. i scheduled us for yoga and painting class; giulia stayed in bed all day. as the one living through the lens of suicidal depression, giulia's voice obviously mattered. it was her body and her mind. she was the one taking the pills, so her insistence that she had a say in her treatment was natural. but that insistence often felt at the expense of my perspective-- the caregiver, the one the doctors entrusted to get giulia to appointments and make sure she was taking her pills each night. i lived and breathed alongside giulia's depression, studying it for patterns and clues for what was working and what wasn't. it wasn't my diagnosis, but it consumed my life. giulia and i were working for the same goal, but in opposition, deadlocked in an unspoken resentment over whose voice mattered more. one day, she took herself off
her most disliked pill, the one with the worst side effects. she didn't ask anyone for permission to do it. i freaked out-- how could she play her own doctor? didn't she know that this is how families lose, and mental illness wins? it turns out the doctors agreed with her. she was ready to be done with that pill. but they also agreed with me-- it was dangerous for giulia to make her own medical decisions. we were both right, and both wrong. and this was our lightning rod moment, the epiphany that helped break the cycle of mental illness as a zero-sum game. we chose to redefine her illness as something we shared: ours, and not just hers. not one voice over the other, but both voices, with equal weight and validity, even when in disagreement. bipolar disorder had been tearing us apart. but this subtle change of a
pronoun-- from hers to ours-- transformed it into something that could bring us together. >> o'brien: finally, we turn to our "newshour shares" something that caught our eye, that we thought might be of interest to you, too. summer is peak tourist season, and on popular islands like nantucket and martha's vineyard the locals roll out the welcome mat. but there is an island off the coast of new hampshire where the inhabitants are downright hostile to visitors. from pbs station wgbh in boston, stephanie leydon tells us why one woman keeps going back. >> reporter: six miles of the coast of portsmouth, new hampshire, white island features stunning views, an historic lighthouse, and a cottage, where liz craig's spending the summer. >> you'll probably hear the fog horn. >> reporter: sounds ideal, but-- no running water? >> you can pour water down the sink, but nothing comes out of the pipes.
>> reporter: you have to haul in water to drink, propane for the stove. this place is for the birds. seabirds. they spend the summer here, too, on the island next door. at low tide, you can cross the rocks-- >> watch out! >> reporter: --and pay a visit. just don't expect a warm welcome. >> when the birds are truly aggressive, you'll see me out here, not just with this hat, but i'll put some padding in the base of it, because they'll dive bomb and hit you as hard they can, in the head. >> reporter: their message: don't mess with mama bird. or papa. they've come here to nest-- an increasingly tricky proposition for this particular species, called terns. this island is the only tern colony in new hampshire, one of a dwindling number worldwide. >> it has a wing of 179 millimeters. >> reporter: which is why liz craig is here.
she's a university of new hampshire biologist, and along with technician taylor ouellette, is tracking the growth of the baby terns. it's kind of like a well baby visit with a pediatrician. >> that's right, they get a check up. >> reporter: data from these check-ups shows many of the chicks are underweight, indicating they're not getting enough of the kind of food terns favor: herring and other small bait fish. it's a significant finding, not only about the health of the birds, but also the ocean. if the terns are in trouble, local lobstermen who rely on the same fish could be, too. data collected from this colony is factored into local fisheries management. >> you can see how the birds are a great indicators for what's going to happen to the lobstermen. >> reporter: jennifer seavey runs the shoals marine laboratory and says along with collecting data, researchers also are seeking ways to better protect the terns, for whom survival has long been an uphill fight.
>> in the 1800s, as part of a the millinery trade, in fact, they put an entire tern hat. >> reporter: and then there's an ever-present enemy: seagulls, which poach eggs, and even adult terns. just by being here, liz craig and her team keep the gulls away. safeguard another generation of terns, which will soon take flight for destinations as far as argentina. >> okay, say good luck, little baby. >> reporter: the culmination of a season's labor, for both humans and birds. for the pbs newshour, stephanie leydon, wgbh news. another fire raging at a houston area plant that lost power after harvey, the same plant caught fire earlier this week after chemicals, organic peroxides heated up. and this just in to us, a senior administration official is confirming that james bridenstin will the nasa administrator he's
republican of tulsa, oklahoma. had been rumored to be the favorite for that spot for many months. so space lovers will know that there will be somebody at the top there soon at nasa. robert costy robert costa is preparing for "washington week," which airs later tonight. robert, what's on tap? >> well, as houston assesses the damage from hurricane harvey, we'll talk about the power the lone star state's congressional delegation wields to get federal funding for the cleanup effort. plus, will president trump end the dream for nearly one million undocumented immigrants? that's all part of the discussion, tonight on "washington week." miles? >> o'brien: thank you. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm miles o'brien. have a great weekend. thank you. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway.
>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> you're watching pbs.
. >> rose: welcome to the program. it is the end of summer and as we prepare for the next season, we bring you some of our favorite conversations here on charlie rose. tonight an hour at the theater. first hamlet with director sam gold and os car isaac then a doll's house part two with playwright lucas hnath, director sam gold, actress laurie metcalf then a look at the musical "dear evan hansen." >> a contemporary audience is a lot less used to rhetoric and the idea of speaking verse. and i think it's really important to honor the tradition of speaking verse and poetry and giving the audience poetry which has music to it. but i think it's important not to alienate the audience and to claim that poetry but to find a way tha